The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE” or “The Commission”) was established as part of the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, which comprehensively reformed the oversight and regulation of ethics and lobbying in New York State.
JCOPE was created to restore public trust in government by ensuring compliance with the State’s ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. It has jurisdiction over more than 250,000 officers and employees at State agencies and departments, including commissions, boards, State public benefit corporations, public authorities, SUNY, CUNY, and the statutory closely-affiliation corporations; the four statewide elected officials; members of the Legislature and candidates for those offices; employees of the Legislature; certain political party chairpersons; and registered lobbyists and their clients.
JCOPE provides information, education, and advice regarding ethics and lobbying laws and promote compliance through audits, investigations, and enforcement proceedings. It also issues formal and informal advisory opinions and promulgates regulations on the applicable laws and the effect on those subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Finally, JCOPE promotes transparency by making required disclosures by those under its jurisdiction available to the public. These disclosures include, but are not limited to, annual financial disclosure statements filed by thousands of individuals and activity and expense reports filed by lobbyists and their clients.
JCOPE promotes transparency by making required disclosures by those under its jurisdiction available to the public. These disclosures include, but are not limited to, annual financial disclosure statements filed by thousands of individuals and activity and expense reports filed by lobbyists and their clients.
The Commission provides advice and guidance to anyone within its jurisdiction. JCOPE may issue formal advisory opinions or individuals may use the attorney-of-the-day program to get free, confidential advice, on how the ethics laws may impact them.
The Commission investigates potential violations of the State's ethics laws and the Lobbying Act. The Commission may impose civil penalties for violations by state officers and employees and lobbyists and clients. Commission findings with respect to the Legislative Branch are required to be referred to the Legislative Ethics Commission for enforcement.